DARKE COUNTY — In a radio interview this past Thursday, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown said that most terrorist acts in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, have been perpetrated by “generally white males.”
On November 19, the Democratic Senator from Ohio, speaking on the subject of Syrian refugees seeking entrance to the United States, told WAKR 1590 AM radio, “I think most of us recognize, we’re concerned but we also know that we trust the FBI and our security forces to do this right. Since the beginning of the Bush administration when we were attacked, September 11th, we’ve not had any major terrorist attacks in this country. We’ve had individual crazy people, of normally, they look more like me than they look like Middle Easterners. They are generally white males, who have shot up people in movie theaters and schools. Those are terrorist attacks, they’re just different kinds of terrorists.”
“But we have since the early Bush days, when September 11th happened, through the rest of the Bush years, and through the almost six years of the Obama administration, we’ve kept this country safe,” said Brown.
Brown credited the federal government for keeping Americans safe from foreign terrorist threats since the 9/11 attacks.
“Individual people shouldn’t be fearful, because, by and large, our government, the federal government — people always talk obviously they don’t trust the feds, whatever,” he said. “The federal government and local communities have done a pretty good job at keeping us safe. Not keeping us safe from crazy gunmen coming into schools and movie theaters sometimes, but certainly keeping us safe from foreigners attacking this country.”
Asked by The Daily Advocate to clarify his comments, Sen. Brown’s office responded, saying, “Since 9/11 our nation’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies have protected the United States from international terrorist threats. We can and should do more, including closing loopholes in the visa waiver program and making sure that those on the terrorist watch list cannot purchase guns.”
“There have been far too many mass shootings in our schools, churches, and community centers and we must keep Americans safe from both international terrorism and mass shootings.”
When asked to further clarify his radio statements, particularly his quote pertaining to “white males,” Brown’s office did not offer any additional comments.
Brown’s radio comments were made in support of a Senate plan to ensure ISIS terrorists are not able to slip into the United States through the Visa Waiver Program.
“A more secure Visa Waiver Program will ensure that ISIS terrorists are blocked from entering the country,” said Brown. “And we must put an end to the ability of individuals on the terrorist watch list to purchase deadly assault weapons. The U.S. must take immediate action to close loopholes that would allow ISIS terrorists to enter our country and access the means to attack innocent Americans.”
Brown and other Senate Democrats are urging Senate Republican leaders to immediately pass legislation that would close a loophole in existing law that allows individuals on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s “terror watch list” to purchase what it terms “deadly assault weapons.”
The National Rifle Association (NRA) opposes the legislation, saying it wishes to “ensure that Americans who are wrongly on the list are afforded their constitutional right to due process.”
“The NRA does not want terrorists or dangerous people to have firearms, any suggestion otherwise is offensive and wrong,” said Jennifer Baker, NRA director of public affairs. “Under the current system, law enforcement is notified every time a person on the list attempts to purchase a firearm. Law enforcement then makes a case-by-case decision on the appropriate follow-up for each circumstance.”
To listen to Sen. Brown’s interview, go online to http://wakr.net/personalities/ray-horner-show/item/159920-audio-sherrod-brown-urges-against-demagoguing-refugees.
Erik Martin may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.